A 17 year old black teenager in London is tired of being busted for walking while black. He says he's been stopped-and-searched without cause fifty times since he was 14, and that on a number of occasions this has included bullshit charges (later dropped), wild accusations, strip searches, and detention in police cells. None of these stops has led to a conviction -- his most recent one almost did. PC John Lovegrove arrested the teenager during a stop-and-search, alleging that he assaulted the cop during a stop-and-search. The case went to court, but then collapsed when the footage showed that the teenager "[lay] there like a dead fish" during the search, and did not roll over or spit, as was alleged by the constable.
The Met won't comment on the case. The teenager will sue the London Metropolitan Police for harassment.
The youth had been stopped by police in Sidcup, south London, on 11 February this year, after reports on the police radio that a named white suspect had threatened his father with a knife and had then run off. The police description was later amended to black or mixed race male.
Although no weapon or drugs were found on the youth, he remained handcuffed while the police forced him to the ground. He was then strip-searched at the police station. He had cigarette papers in his pocket and torn up cardboard that PC Lovegrove said could be used as a filter when smoking cannabis. No drugs were found during the strip search.
The youth said: "I can't think of any other reason why the police keep doing this to me apart from racism. I've been stopped and searched so many times I've lost count, I think it's about 50 times."
The Met police is 11 times more likely to stop and search black people than white ones, according to Equalities and Human Rights Commission research published earlier this year. It has accused the Met of racial profiling.
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